Red Sauce Meatball Truck Is a One-Hit Wonder

An East Coast classic tools around San Francisco on wheels

Street food, at its best, is a one-cook-one-dish proposition. Unfortunately, it's a rule too many Bay Area food trucks ignore.

So when we scanned the menu on the month-old Red Sauce truck and all we saw were meatballs, we joined the line.

Adam Zolot's truck hit the road last month after he realized his plans to open a classic red sauce Italian-American restaurant would take longer than he imagined.

Meatballs seemed an obvious choice for a more pared-down operation: "People are meatball crazy," he says. "They have a certain nostalgic fanaticism." The New Jersey native tested recipes for months before settling on a particular combination of beef, pork and veal.

The Red Sauce truck (photo: Red Sauce)

The meatballs are simmered in tomato sauce just long enough to finish cooking, not to fall apart. Order them in an Acme roll ($9), or with garlic bread on the side ($9) or in single-ball sliders ($4) on crisp, buttery buns.

Why we love these meatballs: They're substantial but springy, doused with a sauce that is only lightly tricked out with garlic and spice so the sweetness of the San Marzano tomatoes comes through.

A slice of provolone ($1) is optional; in our opinion, peppery arugula ($2) is not.

It's a one-hit wonder we'd revisit over and over again.